Good Friday - what's "good" about it?
Today's reflection comes from Rev. Mr. Michael DeSaye, who on June 2nd will be ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Trenton. Please keep Deacon Mike and all the seminarians in your prayers - workers for God's harvest!
On this sacred day, when Our Lord offered his life on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, we offer fasting and prayer, reflecting on this great mystery.
He who was innocent had spent a sleepless night in a freezing, dark prison cell, after having been beaten and spit on by the high priest’s guards. Lord, by your maltreatment and imprisonment, help us to patiently offer our own suffering. Save us from despair.
Early the next morning, he was taken out of the cell and brought before the Gentile prefect Pontius Pilate. His accusers, refusing to see the power of God at work in him, committed perjury and twisted his words in an attempt to extract blasphemy from him. But it was no use. Everyone could see that he was innocent, even Pilate. Yet Pilate’s perverted sense of justice would not permit him to exonerate the Lord. Giving in to weakness, he allowed an angry mob to be the judge of God. Lord, by your unjust condemnation, deliver us from our tendency to make excuses for our sins. Give us the courage to confess them and the grace to resist them.
Before most of Jerusalem had even eaten breakfast, the praetorium soldiers had scourged Christ’s flesh almost to the point of death. Lord, by your scourging, free us from sins of the flesh.
They placed a crown of large thorns on his head, as if to say: this nobody from Galilee thinks that he is a king! Lord, by your crowning with thorns, deliver us from sins of the mind.
The Lord, through whom all things were made, carried a heavy cross uphill through the streets of Jerusalem. City residents had become desensitized to these revolting Roman crucifixions. As they opened their shops for the last day of business before the Sabbath, their own God walked past them bleeding and suffering for them, but ignored. Lord, by carrying your cross through Jerusalem, stir up our hearts with love for you. Save us from becoming desensitized to what you accomplished for us.
Just outside the city wall was a hill called Golgotha, under which it was believed that Adam himself was buried. Here, as pilgrims walked past to offer the blood of lambs for the Jewish feast of Passover, the Blood of the One True Lamb of God was poured out in an everlasting Sacrifice for our sins. Lord, by your death, deliver us from the eternal death of hell. By your Sacred Body and Blood offered at every Mass, save the children of Adam. Help us acknowledge that there is no peace in this world apart from you. Send your Mother and the saints to console us in this life. We repent of all of the offensive things that we have thought, said, and done, which have distanced us from you. Purify our minds and hearts this Good Friday, and help us to recognize in your suffering and death the infinite love that you poured out for this world, marred by sin and wickedness.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, and grant us peace!
But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians 6:14 (NAB)
Our FORMED Recommendation for the Week
Video (27 minutes) -
An Encounter with Mercy
We are not defined by our mistakes. In Confession, Jesus invites us to encounter his mercy and be healed by his love. When he tells us “Go and sin no more,” he also gives us the grace to do so.
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Sent by Fr. Ed Blanchett on Friday, March 30 at 3:00PM